Arizona Republicans are aiming to be tougher than Wisconsin on labor unions. On Monday, Arizona Senate Republicans introduced four anti-union bills in an attempt to completely eliminate collective bargaining and wipe out unions altogether. With these bills, Arizona becomes yet another Republican controlled state to attack labor unions, along with Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana.
According to Talking Points Memo, the bills ban collective bargaining by all public unions, including fire fighters and police, and would prohibit state and local government workers from taking money from their own paychecks to pay union dues. The bills even ban state and local governments from paying public employees to do union work. Basically, the bills kill labor unions entirely, which makes them far worse than anything Wisconsin Republicans have passed to date. This means that American workers in Arizona will no longer have a place at the negotiating table to fight for their pay. Employers now have all the power.
The conservative think tank Goldwater Institute helped write the bills. The director of the institute’s Center for Constitutional Government, Nick Dranias, freely admitted that the bills would kill unions. Because the bills strip unions of all power, “Gradually this would cause people to leave the unions as they recognized that unions no longer have an unfair bargaining advantage given to them by collective bargaining laws. They’ll realize that unions don’t do much for them.”
The thing is, unions don’t have an “unfair” advantage in bargaining. What this bill really does is give ALL the bargaining power to employers to the point where employers don’t have to negotiate at all. They can pay workers as little as they please because employees no longer have a place at the negotiating table. It’s a corporate wet dream.
Dranias says he considers Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a “hero,” so it’s probably not a coincidence then that the Institute hosted the Governor as a guest at an event in November. I wouldn’t be surprised if Walker actually chimed in on what to write into the bill.
This isn’t just a declaration of war against unions, it’s an attempt to wipe them out via genocide. Republicans absolutely do not want unions to exist. The idea that workers have the right to fight for pay raises and benefits is a threat to them. They would rather American workers slave away until they die in unsavory working conditions for the amount of money a 13 year old Chinese kid makes to assemble an Apple product, which is $1.35 an hour. This way, corporations get really cheap labor and pay their CEO’s even MORE money. It also gives corporations more cash to use to buy elections with so that Republicans can remain in charge to screw over American workers even more.
Unions are necessary to protect American workers. There is a strong connection between the weakening and disappearance of unions and the increase of the outsourcing of American jobs overseas. Unions not only protect American jobs, they fight for the right of workers to make livable wages, to have vacations, to have weekends off, to work 40 hour weeks, and to do that work in safe working conditions. In Germany, unions actually boost the economy because workers have more to spend on German made products. It’s the ultimate way to stimulate the economy. They don’t believe in “trickle down economics” that favor the rich. This is why the German economy is so strong right now. They have strong unions. And so should America.
How can we even hope to revitalize the American economy if workers are paid less and less while the cost of living keeps rising? Without unions, workers are powerless. Corporations will take complete advantage of that, and remember, Republicans are assaulting minimum wage laws as well so it won’t be long before Americans are forced to work day and night for $1.35 an hour. And you can bet that the cost of housing, transportation, gas, and other products won’t come down to match it. In other words, Republicans are going to make it even harder for Americans to live in America.